Many residential and commercial landscaping projects require fake landscape rocks and fake boulders as a substitute for real stone.
Real stone is heavy, dirty and can be difficlt to size correctly. If there’s only a 3 foot by 3 foot space, for example, finding the right size can be a real challenge. And even if one does fine the right size, the color, shape or texture may not match the surrounding landscape.
What Material Is Best?
It’s important to keep in mind the fact that anything left outdoors is going to be hammered by the weather and baked by the sun. U.V. rays can quickly fade and weaken cheaply made materials leading to color fade, delamination and other detrimental effects that are best avoided.
As a general rule of thumb, try to avoid anything with a painted surface. While paint quality has grown by leaps and bounds over the years, it is still highly susceptible to sun fade, chipping and peeling from U.V. damage and harsh freeze and thaw cycles.
Are fake landscape rocks made of fiberglass worth the money?
Fiberglass can be quite durable but it is also very heavy and doesn’t handle freeze and thaw cycles very well. Due to it’s rigid composition fiberglass rocks can be prone to impact damage from pebbles thrown from lawnmowers, golf balls, and other objects. Fiberglass is also very smooth and shiny. It does not generate a very natural or realistic stone texture in any light.
Cast concrete fake boulders and landscape rocks are another option for residential and commercial applications. Due to the molding process, concrete can achieve a fairly realistic texture if it is correctly textured.
Concrete can be prone to chipping, flaking, and cracking. It is also quite heavy. Polymer modifiers can be added to concrete during the mixing stage to decrease cracking on the surface over time, but adding polymer additives and colorant can get expensive fast.
Is foam a good material for fake landscape rocks & boulders?
No! Foam is too light and cracks too easily. Even if it is coated with an acrylic or cement based coating it can still be prone to damage. Foam can also wick moisture. Wet foam is very difficult for paint and other coatings to adhere to, especially when freeze thaw cycles and harsh weather conditions are thrown into the equation.
Polyethylene offer the best of both worlds
Polyethylene is a great material for fake landscape rocks and fake boulders. Polyethylene is a type of plastic that can be molded to create a very realistic stone texture. Granite, sandstone and other textures are easily achieved if the mold being used is of high enough quality.
Unlike rigid plastics that can become brittle and crack (especially in cold temperatures), polyethylene remains somewhat flexible and can withstand impact damage much more effectively.
Polyethylene plastic can be molded with colorant, texture particles and U.V. inhibitors inside the material. Instead of painting the fake landscape rocks to achieve a desired color and texture, the molding process provides everything during the manufacturing process.
Fake boulders can get very large. Some sold here are nearly 6 feet tall. Polyethylene designs allow for easy tilting and lifting to move or inspect what’s underneath quickly and easily. They can also be molded with a hollow interior to allow things to be hidden underneath them.
Many of DekoRRa’s fake landscape rocks are molded with partially recycled plastics making them extremely green and environmentally friendly in addition to being easy to use, highly weather resistant, and designed to fit a wide variety of applications. Smaller models can be used over outdoor outlets, valves, lighting transformers, vent pipes and much more. Many of the medium sized models fit well over residential water wells, backflow valves cable boxes and septics. And the large fake boulders are great for insulating and protecting large outdoor water wells and pressure tanks in addition to electrical boxes, pumps and satellite tv dishes.